67 – March 8
“He who postpones the hour of living is like the rustic who waits for the river to run out before he crosses.”—Horace
You know what you want. You probably even know how to go about getting it. But then you don’t go get it. Why not? What is it that stops you?
Sometimes it’s other people who put boulders in your road. They block your path with “Yeah, buts.” Years ago, when I was looking for a job, I answered an ad in the newspaper. The gentleman doing the interviewing asked me where I lived, and I answered that I lived in the San Fernando Valley. “Oh, that’s too far away,” he said. “This job is in Pacific Palisades.”
“That doesn’t matter to me,” I replied brightly. “I can drive.”
“But you might get tired of making a long drive and then want to quit,” he protested.
“Look,” I insisted, “for the right job, I won’t mind driving. Not only that, for the right job, I can move!”
I think he liked my reasoning, because he went ahead and set up an interview for me. Hired me, too. Four years later, I bought the company from him.
When people put boulders in your path, show them your steam shovel.
“Everybody loves a winner and knows that I am one!”
For many years, I have enjoyed the wisdom of the East, as taught by Sufi masters’ stories. This story from “The Way of the Sufi”, a collection by Indries Shah, reminds me that sometimes the obstacle in the road is not a boulder, but a gift. The obstacle is in us if we cannot see it.
The Fortune of Man
El Mahdi Abbassi announced that it was verifiable that, whether people tried to help a man or not, something in him could frustrate this aim.
Certain people having objected to this theory, he promised a demonstration.
When everyone had forgotten the incident, El Mahdi ordered one man to lay a sack of gold in the middle of a bridge. Another man was asked to bring some unfortunate debtor to one end of the bridge and tell him to cross it.
Abbassi and his witnesses stood at the other side of the bridge.
When the man got to the other side, Abbassi asked him: “What did you see in the middle of the bridge?”
“Nothing,” said the man.
“How was that?”
“As soon as I started to cross the bridge, the thought occurred to me that it might be amusing to cross it with my eyes shut. And I did so.”